Last month I explained why choosing safe lipsticks is so important: because lipsticks are applied to your lips, you ingest their ingredients – when you eat, drink, and happen to lick your lips. Even trace amounts of heavy metals found in lipsticks can be quite dangerous since they accumulate in your body.
Safe lipsticks definitely are a worthy goal for consumers – but are there many of them on the market?
The Environmental Working Group tested 1.381 lipsticks and ranked 291 as low hazards, 859 as moderate hazards, and 229 as high hazards. The great news is that certainly you can find some kind of lipstick that you like when you have 291 safe varieties to choose from.
But what makes the highly hazardous lipsticks so toxic?
Like many other cosmetics, parabens are the big offender when it comes to toxic lipsticks. Most of the 229 highly hazardous products contain one or more parabens, including Propylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Butylparaben, and Isobutylparaben. Parabens are dangerous because they’re known reproductive system and developmental toxins, as well as endocrine system disruptors. Parabens also are found in breast tumors.
Many of the hazardous lipsticks also include Retinyl Palmitate – and retinyl palmitate is toxic to your reproductive system and organs.
Some of the highly hazardous products also contain BHA, Citral, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal and Oxybenzone. Want to know why they’re harmful?
- BHA disrupts the endocrine system, is a known human toxicant, and aggravates allergies. It’s also banned from cosmetics in the European Union.
- Citral irritates skin and aggravates allergies.
- Geraniol aggravate allergies and is an ecotoxin.
- Hydroxycitronellal aggravates allergies.
- Oxybenzone disrupts the endocrine system, is toxic to reproductive systems, aggravates allergies, is toxic to organs, enhances skin absorption, causes changes on a cellular level, and bioaccumulates.
The most dangerous products
Only 2 lipsticks received a ranking of 10, the most hazardous ranking on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database: Paula Dorf Lip Color for Lips in Dazzle and Mermaid. The lipsticks are particularly dangerous because they include Retinyl Acetate, Oxybenzone, Propylparaben and Butylparaben.
An ironically funny twist
Ironically enough, all of the lipsticks that received a 9 (highly hazardous) ranking are made by the Love My Lips brand. It’s impossible to “Love My Lips” and knowingly apply a product that includes BHA and Propylparaben.
Do you make a concerted effort to buy safe lipsticks? What products are your favorite?
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